In late December, the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) and State of Alaska issued a joint statement affirming that Campbell Lake is a navigable waterway open to public use per the State constitution. The joint statement confirmed the existence of two overland public access easements providing public access to the lake. However, neither the MOA nor the State indicated plans to survey, sign or develop the public access corridors to the lake, which is the largest in Anchorage. Realizing the pressing need for the public to know the precise location of the easements, Alaska Landmine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Landfield created a GoFundMe campaign so that members of the public could donate funds to survey the easement.
45 donors contributed the $2,000 necessary to fund the survey. Donors included several prominent Alaskans, including a Palmer City Councilwoman, an Anchorage Assembly Member, an Alaska Sports Hall of Fame member, and a media personality. Many others donated anonymously.
Shane Stragier at Frontier Surveys agreed to survey the easement and create a 3D drone video at a reduced rate. Shane came highly recommended and was a pleasure to work with. Over the last week, Frontier Surveys performed the following work:
- Subject lots platting research
- Section line easement verification research through the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Land Management land status records
- Staked the pedestrian access and section line easements
- Provided drawing exhibits of the easements for the public’s informational use
The 3D drone video will be completed soon. An unidentified person called the FAA impersonating the survey company and things got pretty loose.
The following survey documents show the precise locations of the easements:
The Landmine visited both easements on Wednesday. The easements were well-marked and easy to traverse. The red dashed lines show what we believe to be the most straightforward routes across the easements. Note that these public easements predate the adjacent homes by decades.
Tomorrow, the humorously-titled event Storm Campbell Lake, They Can’t Stop All Of Us will be taking place on the frozen lake. There will be free burgers and drinks for anyone who wishes to attend. The Landmine did not create this event but we will join to help out and take photos. This kind of event on Campbell Lake would have been unthinkable months ago.
We believe it is important for all Alaskans to be able to enjoy our public spaces. The framers of the Alaska Constitution believed this too. Ultimately, everyone benefits from Alaska’s constitutional right to access navigable waterways and other public places.
We hope to see you all on Campbell Lake in the coming months and years.